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Winds of War (戦場は荒野 Senjō wa Kōya) is the 8th episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired on May 26th, 1979 in Japan and on August 1st, 2001 in North America. This episode was written by Kenichi Matsuzaki.
SynopsisWhite Base is flying over the Grand Canyon, and Mirai struggles to keep White Base low to the ground while not striking it. When White Base scrapes against the ground, the ship shakes, knocking over Amuro and Fraw. As they get up, they can hear a child crying. They come across a woman who is trying to comfort her crying child. She tells them how they've finally made it to the Earth, and are near where his father grew up, a town named St. Anges. Amuro thinks about his mother, but is called to the bridge by Bright.
Lt. Reed disagrees with how low they're flying, but Bright counters that they have to fly this low to escape the radar of the enemy, which is flying overhead. Char and Garma contemplate their action, and Char explains that the interference of Minovsky Particles makes their most powerful weapons useless.
The Dopps fly off, and Sayla wonders why. Bright explains that they are likely going to attack them at Midlake, an area of the canyon that it highly disadvantageous to them, and, for once, Reed agrees with him. The older evacuees, led by the mother from earlier, walk into the bridge and ask that they be dropped off here, since St. Anges is nearby, and she'd like to go there. Bright thinks that they could ask for a temporary cease-fire with the Zeon forces to they can be dropped off, much to the delight of the evacuees. Garma asks Char for his opinion on the cease-fire, and, while Char doesn't like it, he knows that this will give them enough time to mobilize their slower ground troops for the attack. Garma runs off to give the order, and Char smiles, thinking about how Garma is still the soft-hearted, spoiled rich kid he knew back then.
On White Base, Kai sets up charges on their Gunperry Carrier to make it look battle-damaged. The Zeon forces close in, and Garma is very happy to see what he believes will be the end for White Base. The Gunperry is escorted by a Zeon Luggun Recon Plane. The child waves to the Zeon pilots, and the pilots wave back, smiling. The mother looks down at a large lake, and wonders what it is. In the cockpit, Hayato thinks the same, but Ryu says it's simply some bomb crater. They come across some houses, thinking that a great place to land, and the rest of the crew goes down to where the previously created hole is, setting off smoke bombs. Ryu and Hayato stage an emergency landing. Char and Garma look at the people who were released, but see no soldiers amongst them, something that surprises Char. The crew jetpacks off the scene and back to White Base, causing the Luggun to follow them.
The evacuees decide to go to the houses they saw earlier, but the mother and child split off to go to St. Anges. The Zeon pilots watch, unsure what she's doing, as there is nothing at all in that direction. Ryu and Amuro get out of their hiding places in the Gunperry, planning to send out the Gundam. The Zeon pilots follow the crew until they get to white base, then fly back towards the mother and child. One, named Big John, proclaims that he is a family man and has certain feelings about this. Amuro doesn't know their intentions, and decides to follow them first. The Luggun flies over them and drops its payload, a capsule full of supplies. Amuro is able to hide in time, but a gleam of light reflected off Gundam's eye announces his presence. They turn around, but Amuro shoots their left wing off, and they crash into the lake.
The attack begins, and the Guntank is released, along with the Guncannon with Kai as pilot. Kai is extremely frightened at his first time in real combat, and quickly runs out of ammo. Garma and Char watch intently, and Char suggests Garma watch the rear of his attack force. Garma thinks it a waste since White Base will soon be completely destroyed by his forces' sheer firepower. Char tells him that his plan of action would have been to hide the mobile suit in the transport and release it behind enemy lines. That is when the word comes in that Gundam is attacking from behind enemy lines. With Gundam's help, the battle begins to turn around in the Federation's favor. Far in the distance, Big John and the other pilot are watching, with the mother dressing their wounds.
Zakus begin moving in, outnumbering Amuro. One comes up behind him on a cliff, but Kai pushes him to the ground below. A relieved Amuro takes out the last Zaku, which began fleeing after seeing both mobile suits. As the reports and panicked screams reach Garma at his command center, he freezes, watching in horror. He doesn't know how he can possibly convey this disaster to his sister, but Char calms him down, saying he'll go with him next time.
Big John thanks the mother, suggesting she and her son sleep in the capsule. When the mother asks if there's anything that can be done to repay them, he tells the son to grow up big and strong so he can take care of his mother. They walk away, but Big John turns around and tells them that the wasteland they're standing in used to be a small town called St. Anges until about a year ago, and suggests that they go back with the others. They walk back to their fellow soldiers, and the mother stays there, crying. From high above, Amuro looks out the window, wondering if the mother and child made it to St. Anges.